Our Indiana Repossession Lawyer Helps Stop Repossession

If you fall behind making payments on your loans and wind up in default in Indiana, your creditors have the right to any possessions that have been used as collateral for a secured loan. An Indiana repossession lawyer can help you fight repossession and prevent you from losing your possessions and also the value you already made in payments.

The law firm of Jerry E. Smith is focused on helping consumers solve their debt problems, helping them save their homes, vehicles and other assets from repossession. We know there are rules as to what a creditor can and cannot take from you, and that there are ways that you can avoid repossession.

We offer a free one-hour consultation to discuss your financial situation and determine the best way to help you get out of debt, stop repossession, and possibly even recover property that was recently repossessed. Delaying can only make your situation worse and increase your financial problems, so call us today at (317) 917-8680.

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What Are the Repossession Laws in Indiana?

When you buy an item such as a car through a loan, you sign a contract that spells out the payments you must make and the dates you must make them. If you fall behind on these payments, you are considered to be in default of the contract. Most agreements state that you are in default as soon as the payment is late, but often the contract may give you a grace period to make up your payments.

Repossession in Indiana can happen when you have signed an agreement or contract for a loan on property using the property as collateral for the loan. The property may be the property you are purchasing, such as cars, boats, trucks, appliances, or furniture, or you may put up property you already own as collateral in exchange for a loan.

Car Repossessions

Motor vehicles are the property that is most commonly subject to repossession. Indiana repossession laws for motor vehicles and watercraft allow the lender to repossess the vehicle upon default without a court hearing or even notifying you of its intention to repossess the vehicle. “Default” usually means you are late with payments, but it may also mean other problems, such as a lapse of insurance if your loan contract requires it.

If you are in default, lenders can show up and take the vehicle, even if on your own private property. However, the lender must not “breach the peace” while repossessing the vehicle, such as by breaking and entering a locked garage or threatening you physically.

Once your vehicle has been repossessed, the lender has the right to sell it after notifying you of the sale. If the sale of the vehicle doesn’t satisfy the entire debt, the lender could still sue you for the difference between what is owed and the price received at the sale.

Mortgage lenders are not allowed to repossess your home in Indiana. Instead, homes must be placed into foreclosure and then auctioned if the loan cannot be paid.

What Happens When Your Car Gets Repossessed in Indiana?

In most cases, creditors will sell your car and apply the sales proceeds toward the debt that you owe. Indiana requires that lenders must mail you a notice stating that you have the right to get your vehicle back once you have satisfied all of the outstanding issues related to the repossession. The notice must state either the date, time and place of sale, or the date and time after which the sale will be made. It will also state the date by which you must redeem your repossessed vehicle before it is to be sold at auction.

Can You Get Your Car Back After Repossession in Indiana?

How does the repo process work?

At any time before the sale, you may try to negotiate with the creditor to get your car back. However, the creditor can demand full payment of the debt before you can get the vehicle back.

If you have belongings that were left in the repossessed vehicle, you will be able to retrieve them as follows:

  • The Indiana repossession company will provide information as to how to retrieve items from the repossessed vehicle and give you an appointment to come get the items. You may also be given an appointment to retrieve your vehicle, if you were able to pay the debts owed.
  • Indiana allows repossession companies to remove any loose items and store them at cost to you.
  • If the Indiana repossession company does not allow you to retrieve your property, you may contact the loan lender and inform them what items you need back.

If you cannot make full payment of your debt or negotiate a settlement with your creditor, the creditor can take steps that include:

  • Selling your repossessed vehicle at auction if you do not redeem it by their deadline.
  • Sending you notice informing you what your repossessed vehicle sold for and of the balance between what you owed and what the vehicle was sold for at auction.
  • Indiana repossession laws allow the lender to collect the remaining difference, called a “deficiency,” from you if the auction price of the repossessed car or truck did not cover the full balance of the loan.

In certain smaller transactions, the amount of which changes, the creditor may be forbidden by law from collecting a deficiency. The creditor must decide to either repossess the property or sue you for the money you owe, but cannot do both.

You may also have to pay for attorneys’ fees if the creditor hired an attorney to collect the deficiency. The creditor can sue you in court to collect this money. You may be able to save some costs and repossession fees by returning the vehicle before it is repossessed. You should ask a bankruptcy attorney to advise you on the best option in your situation.

Can you get your car back after a repossession? Yes, but it may be best to prevent it from getting repossessed in the first place. With legal assistance, you may be able to stop repossession of your car before all this happens. Call Indiana repossession attorney Jerry E. Smith today at (317) 917-8680 to discuss your options.

How Repossession Lawyers in Indiana Can Help

If your debts have become unmanageable to the point where you are behind on your payments and are facing repossession of your property, there are several things an Indiana repossession lawyer can do to help. Attorney Jerry E. Smith will evaluate your situation and determine whether there are any legal remedies for your repossession situation.

Examples where you may have a legal remedy include:

  • There were legal defects or fraud or deception in your contract.
  • The creditor had no legal right to repossess your property.
  • The lender or repossession company did not properly inform you via written notice of your rights, deadlines, or fees.
  • The creditor used force, threats, lies or damaged your property.
  • The repossession agent threatened you and “broke the peace.”
  • Notices of resale were not provided properly.
  • The resale price was unfairly low.
  • The creditor tried to collect a deficiency when not allowed to do so by law.

In the above cases, you may be awarded:

  • reduction or elimination of the debt
  • a monetary settlement from the creditor
  • return of your property
  • return of your costs and fees.

Because a repo of your car isn’t always a simple matter, getting skilled legal help provides you with options you may not know you have available.

Can Bankruptcy Help Stop Repossession?

Bankruptcy is a legal way to have many debts forgiven and put you on the road to financial recovery. If you’re a good candidate for bankruptcy, filing can keep creditors from harassing you and seizing your possessions, allow debts to be discharged, and provide a way for you to keep assets and begin to rebuild your life.

While Indiana does not allow you to file bankruptcy to stop repossession, filing can temporarily stop a creditor from repossessing and, in some cases, let you recover repossessed property that has not been sold. You may still have to eventually work out payments with the creditor to keep the property from being repossessed. There are several possible options, and an attorney can advise you of your alternatives.

Commonly, there are two types of bankruptcy protection:

  • Chapter 7 bankruptcy – This is the most common form of bankruptcy and allows debtors to make a fresh financial start. It enables you to discharge (eliminate) most or all consumer and/or business debts. It is over in a few months, so you can begin rebuilding credit quickly. You may be able to use Chapter 7 to free up enough money so that you can make your missed and monthly payments, allowing you to keep property from repossession.
  • Chapter 13 bankruptcy – Chapter 13 is best if you don’t qualify for Chapter 7 and you have a steady income, financial problems that are temporary, and a desire to repay some of your debt in order to keep an asset such as a car or a house. Under Chapter 13, you will have a plan that allows you to repay some or all of your debt affordably over a three- to five-year period. If you successfully complete the court-approved payment plan, the remaining debts covered by the plan are discharged. You can use the life of the Chapter 13 payment plan to catch up on any payments missed prior to filing for bankruptcy and avoid repossession.

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    Call a Repossession Attorney in Indiana if You Face Repossession

    If you are faced with repossession and cannot become current in your payments or make another arrangement with your creditor, getting legal help may allow you to prevent the repossession of your property.

    Indianapolis bankruptcy lawyer Jerry E. Smith is also a CPA. The team at Jerry Smith Law Firm practices bankruptcy law and tax resolution, focusing on representing consumer debtors and attempting to put them in the best financial position possible. When dealing with repossession, time is of the essence, so take the first step toward debt relief and call us for your free one-hour initial consultation today at (317) 917-8680.